Will It Be Possible to Create A Fully Autonomous Store?

Walking into a convenience store is meant to be quick and seamless, but often when a crowd appears, long lines can make shopping tedious and frustrating. The rise of artificial intelligence (AI) has made its way into shopping. CEO and Co-Founder Steve Gu sits down with What Just Happened? Host Christine Russo on the direction of AI in retail.

While the use of e-commerce is growing, many consumers still crave physical spaces, including shopping in stores. “I believe that roughly more than 80% of the transactions still happen in the physical world,” Gu said. “As humans, we still need to interact with physical objects and even though many of us are fans online, myself included the majority of the activities we do still happen in the world, and that’s where we think AI can play a huge role.”

AiFi’s new partnership with the Miami Dolphins and the Detroit Lions allows fans to scan a QR code, a credit card, or an app to tap and pay, then they simply grab their item and go back to their intended viewing. “I want them to leave as quickly as possible like a Google search engine because I know their goal is to come and leave so they can focus on their game. And in the end, we want a fully autonomous store, or a shop that can run essentially by itself,” Gu said.

The beauty of AiFi, Gu further explained is that they partner with retailers, they do not compete with them. “We are a technology firm by heart. We’re not retailers but we chose to work with retailers to make all this amazing shopping experience happen because we know the future is in AI,” he said.

AiFi plans to fit its products into more local mom-and-pop stores and other venues around the world. “The best part of our system is that we can support different types of users, all based on the same operating platform. We tailor it to the needs of the client because we are flexible to work with, and we want to provide solutions,” Gu said.

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